Licensing of orphan images and Flickr's data increase: hmmm...

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by batwister, May 21, 2013.

  1. batwister

    batwister Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  2. batwister

    batwister Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Where amateurs are concerned, we've almost come full circle in photography. Except where once one had to be a scientist, today expertise in law and sociology are necessary before pressing the shutter.
     
  3. Noble

    Noble Member

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am going to conduct my life this way. When I see something while walking down the street if I can't ascertain who owns it within 30 seconds I'm just going to take it.

    My analog work is not on the internet. My digital stuff is watermarked at a stock agency.
     
  4. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

    Messages:
    1,925
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    can someone please summarize for those not legally minded?
     
  5. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

    Messages:
    8,093
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    So now a © symbol isn't good enough on a photo? We have to "register" it with a company?


    ~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. Noble

    Noble Member

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's wholesale theft...


    http://www.bjp-online.com/british-j...ial-copyright-framework-receives-royal-assent


    Basically if you have some old long forgotten flickr account that has your images up on the web a company can come by and use them for whatever they want without paying you. Just take what they want.
     
  7. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

    Messages:
    756
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Location:
    NY
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    ...and these are the words of that brainiac, Marissa Mayer

    "..…there’s no such thing as Flickr Pro, because today, with cameras as pervasive as they are, there is no such thing really as professional photographers, when there’s everything is professional photographers. Certainly there is varying levels of skills, but we didn’t want to have a Flickr Pro anymore, we wanted everyone to have professional quality photos, space, and sharing.” – Marissa Mayer, Yahoo Event, May 2013"

    Read more at http://petapixel.com/2013/05/21/rip-professional-photographers/#Xjsv8GW1fRK8Z4YY.99
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,314
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    it was never enough stone.
    unless images are REGISTERED with the copyright office
    the creator has no legal leg to stand on, and no lawyer
    will take the case on contingency and no court will hear the case.

    people ( photographers ) thought, by pressing the shutter button,
    all their "work" was automatically copyrighted/protected ... its not
    even if there is the " © " next to the name, and people harvesting know this.

    and unlike what some suggest it costs about 40$, you can
    do a massive registration ( gang registration ) and be good to go.

    if images are on flickr ( or anywhere else ) , and someone takes them and doesn't bother to
    notice or "search" / write to the owner before using them it does not suggest
    the work is "orphaned".

    it just means that anyone with a camera and with images
    can be considered a "pro" but the other edge of the sword is that some-goofball
    who just likes to see his dog wearing a bandanna catching a frizbee in-print
    for some gatorade/pro-feed ad won't know his image is worth 15K$ and will
    say " cool 100$ im ok with that" and not have a clue.

    the best of times, the worst of times.
     
  9. Noble

    Noble Member

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't know about that. I have certainly licensed multiple images in the UK under Rights Managed contracts and I didn't register anything with anyone. I've done some Royalty free stuff under special circumstances as well but that was in a different country.

    So you are saying if you can prove it is your photograph and someone appropriated it for their own commercial purposes you don't have a leg to stand on if you didn't register your copyright?!

    That would mean any commercial processing lab could just look through your negatives and chromes and cherry pick out the ones they like and start licensing them for advertising. I really don't think that's the way it works.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,314
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    register the work or be sorry

    in the USA ...
    if you don't register your work, you are screwed.
    if you take your chromes / negatives
    to a lab and they cherry pick work out of it, keep the chromes and negatives
    and register the copyright themselves, and license usage, and you have no
    idea they did it, yes, you are hosed. MAYBE ... you can somehow prove
    because the rest of the film is exactly the same ... essentially, copyright registration proves ownership.

    if you work for someone, make some photographs and send them "proofs" of the work, and they scan the images
    and tell you they aren't interested in them. you don't register the copyright, and notice down the road that
    the person you sent them to grabbed them and used them without your consent ( and claimed "you just sent them the photographs" )
    ... unless you have the registration you have no legal leg to stand on. YES, in the USA you NEED the registration.
    i was in a similar situation where i worked for a company, and they stole my work.
    i found out the hard-way i had no legal leg to stand on, no lawyer will take the case no judge will hear it ...

    i have no idea what the laws are like outside of the usa ...
    BUT if you are in the USA and made photographs REGISTER THEM.
    gang registration is cheap and worth every one of the 4000 pennies.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2013
  11. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,610
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dang, I was counting on just producing the original 4x5 negatives in case of controversy. Guess I have to refine my workflow a bit.
     
  12. Noble

    Noble Member

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The article was about a proposed bill in the UK. Which is why my remarks were tailored for the UK.

    So just to clarify it seems you are saying it is difficult to prove it is your work without a copyright in the US. Not that without a copyright you have no recourse. Am I understanding you correctly?

    I guess you are making an argument for digital. Use your own camera and each image is automatically stamped with your name on it. Some of the fancier ones also include GPS information so if you shoot at your studio that is further proof the work is yours. I guess that is where part of the confusion comes in for me. All my images I've sold were produced electronically and have my named embedded in them and I keep the RAW files. With negatives and chromes its a bit trickier. I can see where things would be hard to prove. How do your register the copyright on negatives and chromes? Do you scan everything in and upload the files somewhere?
     
  13. batwister

    batwister Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    In terms of negatives and slides, it seems as though there's probably at least a few loopholes with orphan images. It's as if the powers that be have forgotten traditional photography still exists. There is a huge ambiguity when it comes to film images regarding where exactly the line between physical property and intellectual property is.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,314
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    embedded information is not the same as registering copyright in the USA ...
    maybe it is in the UK / EU and elsewhere ?
    i just know what i know, digital or analog photographs, hand drawn, written text, website information, 1d, 2d, 3d media you name it!
    everything has to be registered or the :surprised:wner: is pretty much screwed.
    you don't need to take MY word for it, at least in the USA
    here is the info: http://www.copyright.gov/
    you don't need to argue with me, i know what I need to do, if you have problems
    or questions contact the COPYRIGHT OFFICE at the LOC ...

    as for how to analog things get into the office?

    there are digital submissions / scans &c
    but there are also analog submissions as well ... copies of everything submitted ... contact sheets &c.

    if your work isn't "copyrighted" in the us, REGISTERED WITH THE COPYRIGHT OFFICE
    metatags, © symbols, saying " bla bla bla copyright 1999-2013", even having the SLIDES AND NEGATIVES &c isn't enough ...
    you need to have it REGISTERED ... because you won't get any help from lawyers or the law or the court system.

    this is for the USA, elsewhere this may be totally different ...

    noble ...
    you don't need to believe me ... but i have been taken to the cleaners
    by a company that stole my work ( that i hadn't registered )
    and i didn't have any legal way to get compensation because they were good at rewriting the truth..
    this was 8? years ago, now the laws aren't too different
    although, they make it easier for people who want to steal work to say " i looked but couldn't find the owner so its orphaned "
    AND the time we live in also makes it easy for people who have their work on flickr &c to be barely compensated
    and have their work used because of the glee - factor and the AD/CDs save a fortune ...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2013
  16. Noble

    Noble Member

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not arguing with you man. I am asking you a question. I am not a lawyer. Your posts didn't really flesh out the scenario and I was wondering what exactly went on. Your link is just a link to the U.S. Copyright office. Is there a specific law or regulation that I should be reading to better understand this topic. As I said, I'm not a lawyer. I haven't sold or displayed enough work of significance to become a victim of a big fraud. I am operating from a position of almost total ignorance in this area.
     
  17. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,610
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    As I understand the thought (overly simplified not to be taken as legal advice), in the US everything is automatically copyrighted. But registering and marking with the copyright symbol makes you eligible for damages. Without the extra money that might be involved, no lawyer would bother with you.
     
  18. Noble

    Noble Member

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I clicked around on the link a bit and found this...

    http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#mywork

    Seems like if there is an issue especially soon after the creation of the work you can just register it and then pursue legal action. Why wouldn't you be able to just do that? What am I missing. I also found this...

    It goes on to define the "for hire" arrangement.
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,314
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    yeah ... kinda ... from what a lawyer told me ...
    you can put the copyright symbol on anything and it may scare off people
    because it is an implied copyright ...
    BUT the actual registration is what matters, it is the document that states
    the property is legally on record / is registered. and without proof of registration no lawyer would
    bother because it becomes a he said - she said sort of scenario.
    person 1: "i took this photograph of a baby riding a camel when i was at the bronx zoo in 2012, see my metadata" ...
    person 2: " nooo, i took this photograph, she made a screen shot from my website and flickr page, this is MY metadata"
    person 3: " here is my copyright registration, dated 6/1/2010 showing i own this image" bla bla bla

    http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf
    page 7 says it is a formality but in the sad state of affairs
    the registration says EVERYTHING ...

    there used to be something called a "poor man's copyright"
    which involved mailing everything to oneself
    the date/stamp acts as the registration-date and
    the duplicated items ( contact sheets, cd maybe a formal note
    saying what was in the envelope/cd &C ) ... everything in the UNOPENED envelope
    works the same way as a federal registration,,
    i have only heard of the poor man's copyright, and i don't know how it holds up
    in court or if lawyers &c take it seriously ...

    unfortunately, this is only in the USA .. who knows what it is like elsewhere,
    probably even more confusing and murky ...
     
  20. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Location:
    Bavaria, Ger
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    This is not true. You own the copyright the instant an image is created. You can sue for actual, provable, economic losses. You will only receive those funds that you can prove are losses, plus legal fees.

    If you register, the court can award punitive damages above economic losses. You can register multiple images, even online. Registration provides added benefits, as well.

    Check out the copyright site, they have all the information you need.
     
  21. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,610
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    My thought was to follow the money. A smart lawyer would work with the artist who had an open and shut case with a lot of money possible.

    Sure, you can be right. But you will also be self-represented.
     
  22. kintatsu

    kintatsu Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    May 1, 2012
    Location:
    Bavaria, Ger
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    If your work is a work for hire, which it is if it's created in the process of your job, the employer can claim copyright. Including, in most cases, a client unless otherwise specified.
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,314
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    it IS true ...
    court system will no longer see copyright-cases where there is no proof-registration
    this is what a consulted-lawyer told me and what someone at the ASMP told me 8 years ago.

    you are welcome to try but you won't get far.
     
  24. Noble

    Noble Member

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    From your link...

    http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#mywork
     
  25. Noble

    Noble Member

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Makes sense. I would assume they would want you to sort things out with the copyright office before wasting the courts time.

    In your case why did you think you held the copyright? Why didn't you simply register it and then go to court when you realized there was a problem? Why didn't the lawyer recommend just registering?
     
  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,314
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    this is true, but if you are working for someone, as a contract photographer, on assignment with a signed contract ...
    they receive / get the work and are supposed to send you the check, but instead copy the images on their hard drive, send back the images / CD
    say they don't want them ( after duplicating them ) and make up some sort of BS/ DRAMA decide they will not pay you for them ...
    you are not on staff/ work for hire and if you did not register the images with the copyright office ... well ... if they decide they are theirs and you didn't register them ...
    well until you DO register them and claim ownership you are screwed ...

    on the other hand, if you work for starbucks coffee, and invent the upside down carmel/espresso frappuccino .. while an employee .. your invention
    is owned by your employer

    ... there is a HUGE difference
    in the first situation you were robbed by a client
    in the second situation, you were working and starbucks got the benefit of having you as an employee !